How Long Does The SBA Have To Approve PPP Forgiveness (Guide To The SBA PPP Loan Forgiveness)

When the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, it caused a lot of panic for business owners. Suddenly, they weren’t able to operate in the way that they had been, and a lot of companies didn’t know how they would be able to survive. 

Thankfully, the US Government announced a new loan scheme that would support businesses throughout this time. This loan scheme was called the Paycheck Protection Program. 

Along with offering the PPP loan scheme, the US Government also offered a forgiveness scheme. This would allow those who received these loans to get the loan forgiven before the expiry date if they fit the necessary criteria.

The PPP loan scheme is new, and because of this, a lot of people are still struggling to figure out the application for PPP loan forgiveness. In this quick guide to the SBA PPP loan forgiveness, we’ll be taking a look at how you apply for loan forgiveness, and more importantly, how long it takes for your application to be approved. So, let’s dive right in.

What Is The SBA PPP Loan Scheme?

First things first, let’s take a quick look at what the SBA PPP loan scheme is. As we have said, ‘PPP’ stands for ‘Paycheck Protection Program’, and it was a loan scheme introduced to help small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic. It was just one of the things introduced to support companies as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act that was established in 2020.

The theory behind the PPP loan was to help companies retain staff throughout the pandemic. The loans were granted to successful applicants to allow them to receive money to cover their payroll, along with payroll related expenses. The money would cover the wages of employees to ensure that companies didn’t have to make staff redundant in order to survive.

Along with the PPP loan scheme, the US Government announced a loan forgiveness scheme. But what does this mean? Let’s take a look.

What Is PPP Loan Forgiveness?

When the PPP loan scheme was announced, the US Government also stated that these loans may be forgiven. The PPP loan scheme was always a temporary measure, and this loan scheme had a very specific purpose.

That is why the government announced that companies who successfully received the PPP loan could apply for it to be forgiven. If they met certain criteria, then their loan would be forgiven, and the debt would essentially be wiped. But, forgiveness had to be applied for on or before the maturity date of the loan in order for your application to be successful.

Even though the PPP loan is a loan that can only be used for a very specific purpose, it still operates the same way as a regular loan. So after a set period of time, you will have to begin repaying the loan, usually in monthly repayments to your lender.

But, if you apply for loan forgiveness, and are accepted, then you will not have to make any repayments. Instead, the loan is wiped, and you will not have to worry about ever repaying that money. But, as you would expect, the criteria for this is pretty strict, and you will have to have supporting documents in order to be accepted.

How To Apply For PPP Loan Forgiveness

In order to apply for PPP loan forgiveness, the first thing that you will need to do is speak to your lender. Not all lenders offer direct loan forgiveness, so you will first need to determine if your bank offers this. Whether they offer it, or not, will have an impact on which forgiveness application form you have to complete.

If your lender offers direct forgiveness, then you can apply through the portal on the SBA website, if they do not, you will have to apply through your bank/lender.

Once you have the correct forms, you will then need to gather all the necessary information and documents.

The information that you have to provide will be standard information about your business, but the documents that you need to provide are pretty intense. This will include a lot of information about your payroll, as well as documents providing your staff members at the beginning of the loan period, and a document for the end of the period too.

This is very important because the whole point of the PPP loan scheme is to retain staff, your loan will only be forgiven if you can prove that you have done this.

How Long Does The SBA PPP Loan Forgiveness Take To Be Approved?

Once you have applied for PPP loan forgiveness, then you will likely be eager to find out whether, or not, your application has been approved.

When you sent off your application, you were likely warned that it might take a while for you to find out the status of your application. This is because there has been a huge amount of applications for this, and the SBA are frankly overwhelmed. But just how long is a ‘while’?

According to the laws surrounding SBA PPP Loan forgiveness, lenders have to accept/reject forgiveness applications within 60 days. However, at current, it seems that the forgiveness department is not meeting this deadline, and it is taking up to 90 days for loan forgiveness applications to be closed.

This means that you could be forced to wait up to 90 days before you find out the results of your application.


In short, after you have applied for PPP loan forgiveness, the SBA, and your lender legally have 60 days to respond to your application. However, in some areas it is taking closer to 90 days for people to find out the results of their application.

If your loan application is successful, then you will not have to make any loan repayments for the amount that you borrowed. The loan will simply be wiped away. So, if you have applied for a PPP loan, and you are still within the maturity period of that loan, you should consider applying for forgiveness.

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